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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 16, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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the process of cooling it automatically through some kind of computer mechanism? >> well, one would hope so but, you know, i have no information. >> okay. >> on the state of those systems. >> all right. so that is the latest at this hour. that is the ed show for this tuesday night. >> nuclear danger. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews out in los angeles. leading off tonight, heading towards children noble? how horrible will this nuclear crisis in japan get? all four reactors at the fukushima plant are damaged endangering and terrifying the local population. people are evacuating the area and even moving away from cities
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as far away as tokyo. out of 800 workers on the site of the nuclear plants, 50 are still there. only 50 and they are in a very dangerous situation. we'll get a report on the ground on how serious the situation is and what it could mean for americans here at home. plus, how much radiation can anyone be exposed to before risking significant health problems? we'll talk to the experts about how much is too much. i'm going to talk to the weather channel of all people about which direction the winds are now blowing and who is in harm's way. the neoconcrowd is back, also no surprise here, calling for yet another war. this time it's libya. neocons are asking for a no-fly zone to force gadhafi from power. how many wars in muslim countries do these guys want to fight at one time? if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, how will little knowledge affect michelle bachmann's chances. is it a problem in this country when even well-known politicians have so scant knowledge of their own country's history? we start with the crisis in
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japan. david albright is a former nuclear weapons inspector currently with the institute for science and international security. thank you for joining us. i want to know what's going on over there in terms of the four reactors right now. >> today has been a quieter day thank god. there's not been an explosion or a new fire and so in radiation doses on site have generally come down. there's been some aftershocks. there's still a lot of trepidation about what could happen and whether these reactors are going to go out of control and so it's also -- there's concern growing over the fifth and sixth reactor there and so you have a situation where we're just waiting to see if the japanese can get it under control. we're still suffering -- i say we in the sense of other individuals, the public like myself, governments, we're not getting a lot of information from the japanese government. and that's becoming an
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increasingly difficult problem as people begin to worry more and more about what radiation dose am i getting? >> japan is facing a potential nuclear catastrophe right now after three explosions have damaged reactors at the nuclear power plant. workers are pumping sea water into reactor number one to cool it and containment vessel surrounding the reactor remains intact. that's good news. yesterday an explosion destroyed the outer structure of the number three reactor. sea water is again being used to cool the reactor vessel, the inner core. the biggest concern centers on number 2 unit, where an explosion last night u.s. time actually damaged the inner steel containment vessel. containers are crucial in maintaining safety of the fuel. a breach raises the prospect of a full-blown meltdown. a fire broke out at reactor number 4 today, and could become
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a problem if spent fuel at that site becomes exposed. let me ask you about the threat to people. what is it -- let me get really basic here. the threat to human bodies of radiation. what is it? >> it damages -- in large doses, it can cause sickness. it's called radiation sickness. you can damage the blood. you can vomit and in larger doses you can actually die and so you have to be very careful to reduce the risk and that's really what the workers face. that's why the site was evacuated. the dose rate got so high yesterday that it wasn't safe to stay there and so only essential personnel were kept there. less radiation goes out to the public outside of the site and there's an evacuation zone but the problem that the public is going to face over time is the radiation that's been emitted
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and god forbid if there's more, can get into the food chain, for example. there's radioactive iodine that falls on pastures, cows eat it, it gets into milk, it falls on vegetables and so you have to worry over time particularly if these releases continue that you will have radiation working through the food chain and ending up in humans and raising the risk of cancer. >> david, the problem i'm looking at is 800 people working at the plant the other day with this explosion. it's down to 50 workers. are they almost in a sacrificial position. what will happen to those workers at the plant near the reactors? >> i don't think they're in a suicidal position, and certainly not in a sacrificial position. they can rotate in and out. the workforce has a lot of radiation monitoring equipment. they'll be trying to work around
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radiation hot spots. they will try to reduce their doses. what they are facing unfortunately is that they are going to get higher doses and they are going to drive up the risk of cancer in the long run. if they are not careful or if they are unlucky, if they happen to be there if something happens or were there when something happened, they can get large enough radiation doses that it can affect their health. >> compare if you will the containment and damage or actual explosion of the reactors themselves to what happened in chernobyl, the worst case so far in the world? >> it's less. chernobyl involved a tremendous release of radioactive material into the atmosphere. what you have here is an accident that's less although i would say more significant than three mile island. you've had a slow bleeding of radiation into the environment and that's being picked up in various parts of japan.
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and you have a risk that something worse could happen and we saw a preview of that. the international atomic energy agency reported yesterday based on japanese information there was a fire in the spent fuel ponds at unit 4. there you can have radiation material directly into the atmosphere. there's also been a worry that if they don't cool the reactor that you could have a meltdown. there's been a partial melting of fuel according to most observers and experts and that that could become worse and if in the very worst case it could actually go through the bottom of the reactor and then there can actually be steam explosions if that hot material reacts with groundwater, and then you could have fissures in the ground that release large amounts of radiation. probably not as much as chernobyl, but a very significant release that will unfortunately could contaminate quite a bit of land. >> on a critical mode here, how
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would you evaluate the japanese handling of this and the way they set up these reactors? are you -- from an american point of view, did they do a good job designing and creating these plants, these reactors? and do you think they've done a good job in this situation of the disaster taking place? >> japanese nuclear agency is competent and capable. these reactors are american reactors, and we have several of them here. they are old. we would not approve the construction of such a reactor now, but the japanese are competent. they've been hit with multi punches, with the earthquake, the tsunami, lack of backup systems and it's been tough. but i think they've handled it pretty well. and they shouldn't be faulted for that. where they've had a problem i think is they're overwhelmed. they also have not been communicating. we don't know the risk. everyone wants to know am i at
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risk of getting radiation exposure that could elevate my chance of getting cancer? and the japanese government has not been doing the job very well to either convince people it is not going to happen or tell them what to do to prevent it from happening in case there is going to be a release. there's dissatisfaction from governments, from the public, from international atomic energy agency, that the japanese government is not doing enough to communicate what's going on. >> thank you very much. dave albright. right now we'll go to rick mace, with "the washington post" who just returned from tokyo and from fukushima itself where the nuclear power plant is located. he joins us by phone. rick, give us a sense -- there's so much going on in japan right now with nuclear reactors unstable right now. the food shortage, water shortages, people are worried about their gas and getting out of town, and affecting us most directly is the financial meltdown over there which is already affecting their
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ability to buy our bonds. >> there's a huge uncertainty across the country. up in the fukushima area a lot of locals have lived in the shadows of these power plants for years and understood the inherent risk and they have no way to really evacuate at this point. train service didn't resume to the area until yesterday and it's still not hitting all parts and it's difficult for many people to reach a train station because either they have no car or there's no gas for their car to reach a station and find some safety. we spoke to a lot of foreigners at the tokyo airport tuesday afternoon and there is definitely more sense of panic among some of the foreigners we talked to. americans, australians, french, trying to get out as soon as possible. many arrived more than 24 hours early to the airport for their flight. the uncertainty and unreliability of some of the information given out by the japanese government has sparked fear that hasn't calmed a single day here.
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>> what's going on with the food supply? we heard that people are stocking up, or hoarding is the word. how would you describe the situation with just survival efforts over there? >> i can tell you further up north the closer you get to sendai and the area that's impacted most, store shelves are just completely empty. on our way back basically all you would see is ice cream, cheap candy and beer in most convenience stores and grocery stores. it's really not there. it's difficult for resources to get in there. normally just a three, four-hour trip is taking 12 plus hours. there's mud slides on the roads. the major arteries getting down there. they're having a lot of difficulty getting any kind of resources up to the area. even down in tokyo you see a lot of empty stores right now. a lot of businesses are closed. we finally returned to tokyo on tuesday evening. it wasn't a complete ghost town but lights were off. businesses were closed.
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people were not out in the streets. there aren't cars because there's not a lot of gas available so the resources just aren't available right now and they're having a difficult time getting up to the region where it is needed most. >> we're looking now at pictures that have been developed over the last couple days. amazing scenes of gigantic ships almost right out on the land there. they just floated over on the land. it's astounding what we see of devastation. i don't even know if it's like world war ii at the end of it. it looks like it. it looks like berlin or tokyo after the war. i'm thinking they are going to have a demand for investment just to recreate their country in parts that they are not going to be lending much money to us. >> it's going to be difficult because they have entire villages and towns that need to get rebuilt. we spent a lot of time in shelters the past few days and no one is sure where the money is going to come from or how they rebuild. these people lost their homes and livelihoods in these areas talking about fishermen and people processing seaweed and
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those that relied on the coast they lived there for a reason. certainly a lot of people around the nuclear power plants and it has to be rebuilt from the ground up and no one is certain how it will happen at that point. people will wait to hear from the government if there will be temporary housing and shelter. you know, after the kobe earthquake, people said they earthquake, people said they heard a sooner and reacted quicker, and people are just kind of shrugging their shoulders wondering when they will get some answers. >> rick, this makes new orleans look like nothing. new orleans was hell but this is something. i've never seen anything like this. it looks like world war ii about 1945. anyway, thank you, rick maese from "the washington post." still ahead, what are risks for radiation exposure here and what affect does radiation have on the human body? we're getting to realities of this thing and why it's so scary. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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rescuers in japan have found two survivors, one was a 70-year-old woman whose house was washed away by the water. she was found inside the home, conscious, but suffering from hypothermia. a rare bit of good news in a country traumatized by the disaster. we'll be right back. @@ the nice thing about
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welcome back to "hardball." radiation escaping from japan's damaged nuclear reactors has raised concern not just in japan but around the world. thousands are being evacuated from within a 13-mile radius of the fukushima plant within 19 miles people are told to stay indoors. beyond that some countries are even temporarily moving their embassies from japan. japan's capital, tokyo, to get personnel further from any radiation. what are real dangers of radiation exposure? dr. al sayad is a professor of oncology tess great university of miami school of medicine.
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what a great school to be coming from. i want to ask you, i want to stay very organized here, how much exposure is safe for human being, doctor? >> well, there are effective dose limits set by the international commission of radiation protection and the ncrp which is our commission here in the united states. that upper dose limit is five milisievert. just to put this in a perspective, a chest x-ray would give you about 0.1 milisievert the question you asked is different. i'm glad you did ask it. there is no such thing as a safe dose. this is the dose limit that we think based on mathematical modeling could be set at.
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we get cosmic rays which is about 2.4 milisieverts a year. the dose/response curve, especially with the long-term effects it -- doesn't have a threshold. there is no such thing as a safe dose. >> are we at risk none continent with what's happening in japan right now in terms of the meltdown and the four reactors there? >> i think that would be highly unlikely. the i think that just learning from the chernobyl experience, the wind blew in the direction at toward belarus, but that was next door to it. i think we're separated by an ocean and it would have to be quite minimal if i had to guess. >> what about our food chain?
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what impact would it have on the food chain? can it contaminate someone else what's going on over there? >> that's the most important question actually. most of the -- one of the most prevalent radio isotopes, elements that are produced by figures reaction is radioiodine. the reason for that is that it is atomic number such that it's half of the atomic number of the uranium, 235, and therefore if products contain a lot of iodine 131. iodine 131 could potentially if it goes into the food chain like what happened in chernobyl could result in far-reaching late effects of radiation. for example, in chernobyl, the risk of thyroid cancer increased amongst newborns and infants exposed at the time simply by
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ingestion of cow milk increased cows grazed, of course in the grass that contained iodine after settling in the soil, it was increased about 87-fold. we knew that about 20 years later. in adolescents risk increased 12 -- as you get older, then obviously the risk for cancer induction is less because it depends on how much more years of your lifespan you have to live. >> i understand. >> next question. if you are exposed to radiation, can you contaminate someone else? is it contagious? that's a primitive question but it's being asked. >> no. unless you are exposed to radiation dust like in the immediate vicinity of the accident and that dust gets just
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mechanically off your clothes to somebody else, i think the only way that somebody could pass along internally deposited radiation as opposed to external radiation is if iodine 131 is ingested it can be excreted in the milk so for a nursing mother potentially who has ingested radioiodine it can go to the infant. that's the only way you can pass it along. >> you are the expert. i just need one or two questions now. it seems like we grew up in this country not worried about x-rays for example. we went to shoe stores and you could stick your feet into one thing and you get an x-ray. it was casual. then we got to the point where doctors go fleeing from the office or dentist the minute the x-ray goes on. wait a minute. this must be serious business. there are people today who are really concerned about going through the airport a lot.
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for social or psychological reasons they don't like being exposed to that exposure if you will. is this something we're more serious than we should be worried about or less serious? what i'm hearing from you in the beginning is perhaps this is a serious thing to worry about. tell me how you read it right now? what's going on in japan? should we be worried about it? we americans? >> i think we need more figures. you know, looking at the data and i had just in front of me here the international atomic energy agency announcement this morning and they mentioned based on what japanese data were that the rate, the dose rate that was measured close to the reactor was about 12 milisieverts an hour. that's 2 1/2 times what is allowable for one year of exposure, in one hour. maybe at 6:00 in the morning, six hours later they announced
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that it went down 20 times to 0.6. i think that we really need before drawing any conclusions to get more figures. where are these measurements made? are these in the immediate vicinity? are these far away? and so forth to really draw a conclusion. i think the main three things that they have done is number one, they evacuated the area. you can never go wrong with that. as distance increases, the exposure decreases quite rapidly. and they started also giving people potassium iodine which is one of the major things that should be done based on the world health organization report of 1999 for prophylaxis against exposure to radioiodine. >> thank you very much. dr. elsayyed, thank you for coming from the university of miami. a great school. up next, officials in japan are closely monitoring the
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weather as wind patterns play a big role in dispersement of radioactive particles. we'll get the latest from the weather channel. we're hearing from everybody. people are worried about this and we're trying to let you know how much to be worried. you're watching it on "hardball" only on msnbc.
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back to "hardball." day five of course of japan's nuclear crisis. the big question today is where is the wind blowing? the radiation is going? joining us is weather channel meteorologist bryan norcross. i guess -- let's talk about japan itself. what's happening to wind conditions, and how is it affecting danger of radiation? >> the good news, chris, right now is that the winds are blowing offshore. there is not concern at the moment and for the immediate future. if something more were to happen from the nuclear plant there that the winds would be over a populated area. during the day today it rained so that tends to dampen things down so if there was any contamination more likely to be
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local and they evacuated that area. going downstream into the weekend, winds are more light and variable. we don't see any significant transport of anything coming out of there assuming it stays in this quasi-contained state it's in right now. >> what about crossing the pacific to us? >> unlikely unless you get a massive explosion there. in chernobyl what happened is you had the nuclear meltdown and you did not have the containment, but all that nuclear fuel was then -- there was an explosion separately from that that pushed this way up into the atmosphere and therefore the upper level winds which are a lot stronger were able to move it downstream a significant distance. as long as they keep this thing at least quasi-contained, there would appear to be no threat at all to us and even if it were to be bad by the time it got across the pacific the likelihood is that we would not have a
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significant effect even then. >> you mention the rain being a beneficial element here. it seems to me based upon my little information on this and check me if you can, when the rain comes down and takes nuclear particulates out of the air, the stuff you don't want landing on you, it lands in puddles, and if it's snowing, it lands in the snow piles. apparently it's still radiation. it's still radioactive and on the ground and it's still dangerous. >> that's exactly right. the thing is it keeps it from dispersing. the rain is only good in sort of contained sense. the fact is they're going to have a radioactive area near that plant no matter what happens now. they've been releasing radiation into that immediate atmosphere. what their goal there is to keep something really bad from happening that disperses it out way beyond the plant and gets into the atmospheric and oceanographic systems of the earth. there's no way to get out of this without having a
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contaminated area it's just a matter of degree and how big the area is that's contaminated. that's why they evacuated. >> bryan, i hate to say it, the only time we'll come to you is for bad news. nuclear fallout and horrendous situation worldwide. not coming for the nicest weather in miami. thank you, bryan norcross, from the weather channel for coming to "hardball." up next, moammar gadhafi's forces are consolidating. now the neocon crowd wants the united states to reestablish or establish a no-fly zone to drive gadhafi from power if that would do it. should we get involved in this third war and what would it mean if we do? serious questions. let's get the answers when we come back on "hardball" only on msnbc. >> it brings your best minds and their brightest ideas together. it helps the largest of companies seize opportunity like the smallest of startups.
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>> it's going to be very important for us to look at a wide range of options that can continue to tighten the noose around mr. gadhafi and apply additional pressure and so we will be continuing to coordinate closely both through nato and the united nations and other international fora to look at every single option that's available to us in bringing about a better outcome for the libyan people. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama of course on monday as pressure builds from some people who want a no-fly zone established by us in libya. a group of them today including liz cheney, bill kristol saying palm bremer, cliff may, and others send a her to the
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president saying, we call on you to institute a no-fly zone over key libyan cities and towns in conjunction can u.s. allies and explore targeted strikes against regime assets in an effort to prevent further bloodshed. do the america people want us to do the american people want us to start fighting in another middle east country? the hutchton post howard fineman and joshua keating, associate editor for "foreign policy" magazine. i see familiar names up there. the usual hawks are hawkish here. my question is the option here to put our planes in the air to shoot other planes down or is the real option on the table no matter what anyone says implied here to go to war with gadhafi. you start shooting and you crater his air fields and you get engaged in a war to bring him down. is there any sense of going down and doing a no-fly by itself and let him win for example?
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>> the no fly is an intermediate step. when the community is demanding action. a full military action is untenable. you're right, this does in a certain sense imply that we're getting involved in another military action in libya. the previous no-fly zones that have been imposed in the form of yugoslavia and over iraq following the first gulf war, those were limited but real combat operations. we shot down six serbian fighter planes in 1994. >> that's an act of war. >> i mean -- >> is there any other way of framing it if you go to another country and start shooting down their airplanes? isn't that an act of war against the government of that country? >> the bosnia one was framed in terms of a u.n. resolution that imposed the no-fly zone. in the case of iraq, the u.s. and several allies acted without the u.n. and legality of that
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operation is still disputed to this day. >> howard, let me bring you in here. it seems it's a slippery slope. if you're for it, it makes sense to get into a slippery slope. they are honest and clear. they want to go for a no-fly zone but immediately say let's go after those assets. i love the way they use those antiseptic terms, assets. they're people you will blow up over there. is this a real left/right fight over a war situation again? >> not quite. senator john kerry, the democrat head of the senate foreign relations committee is on record very strongly in favor of a no-fly zone in conjunction as even neocon said in conjunction with allies. the problem is that kerry and secretary of state hillary clinton haven't engineered the cooperation necessary to give such a thing the color of international law. so there are some democrats who you would think of as skeptical about the war. who are willing to consider the no-fly zone.
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the american people are pretty clear. they might accept a no-fly zone in conjunction with allies which we don't even have yet. they are not going to be willing to accept another act of war leading to another war in yet another arab country. they're not going to accept it. >> i love the fact, howard, that we have allies when it comes to going to war but when we're in it, we're alone. by the way, hillary clinton and john kerry were both for the iraq war. they were hawks last time around. this is the usual suspects. the one big difference is lugar of indiana has laid it out clearly he's against going in with a no fly. >> so is secretary of defense gates. he's made it very, very clear that he thinks it's a bad idea even the no-fly zone let alone direct military involvement. it's bakley state versus defense, among other things. >> here's the american people. the new "the washington post"/abc poll.
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56% of americans support the u.s. participating with a coalition. supporters drop to 45% with u.s. going alone with a no fly. people are told it involves bombings and air patrols, 1 out of 4 drops out, but still a majority sticks with it. i guess you could argue the american people are divided although relatively hawkish on this one. do you believe they understand the ramifications of going into another country and enforcing a no fly? >> i think the international support you're talking about is unrealistic. if you look at france and britain supporting this but germany is skeptical within nato. turkey, a key country within nato, is against it. and russia and china will oppose it in the security council. putting it under banner of an international organization which we did in bosnia is not going to happen.
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>> what about arab league? i love the fact that they backed us in the first iraq war, though i didn't back it. the arab league did. i thought lugar was smart. he said if they back it, pay for it. is there any chance the arabs will pay for us to go into the region and fight one of their governments? >> the arab league suggestion was we bring this to the security council which is the same thing hillary clinton has been saying as well. and some other proponents. former director of policy planning for the state department has also supported bringing this to the security council. you know, the thing as i mentioned the no-fly zone gets thrown around as an option when political action is untenable. right now we have a conversation about a no-fly zone and we're pre-imposing these conditions and meanwhile things in libya are proceeding at their own pace while this conversation is going on and it's not clear that there will ever be the support to actually impose this. >> if we do it on our own, if we do a no-fly zone on our own,
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that's more like a war situation and would not have backing of the united nations or any color of the kind of international support that was the case in both bosnia and iraq in the first no-fly zone there. >> the bottom line is we're not going to get russia and china. they're on the security council. is that right, josh? unlikely we'll get security council backed u.n. action here. >> russia and china are what's traditionally considered the sovereignty caucus. they are skeptical of any kind of intervention into another country's internal affairs and the russian foreign minister has been blunt about this. he called it a conspiracy flewous action, and basically said it's unnecessary. it's not just those countries. germany as well. foreign minister there says he requires more information. he's skeptical about the idea. while there are other allies supporting this, notably the french who are coming out in strong support which is a contrast with the way they responded to events in egypt and
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tunisia, it's just to have it framed in terms of one of these organizations that require a consensus decision is not going to happen. >> howard, last thought from me. when told no fly, think it's an easy. sort of halfway between going to war and not. in effect, if you go halfway to war, it's like being half pregnant. we go into that war situation, we kill libyans and civilians by accident and we're in that war and even hawks say you have to hit the ground and hit the air fields and hit the aaa fire, it's serious business. the idea of the no-fly zone is somehow antiseptic and doesn't kill people is dishonest. if we go to war, we better win it and win it fast. the american people don't like long wars. they hate being stuck in another third world country over there. we're stuck in two of them now. when we get out of one or two we can talk about the third. that's my position. thank you, howard fineman. thank you, joshua keating. it's easy to blow the trumpets, it's hard to end the war.
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up next, mish bachman proves again she doesn't know much about history. maybe that's not a big surprise. we're going to get to this. how do you get the social promotions in the republican party now for a serious candidate for president but not serious about knowing anything. this is "hardball" only on msnbc.
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it looks like tim kaine is running for the senate down in virginia after all. the college newspaper says kaine told a class yesterday with good sourcing that he was going to give it a shot. that's his phrase. a public announcement he said would come in a week or so. that report conflicts somewhat with the official line of democratic national committee which he runs that he's only increasingly likely to get in the race. he's edging to the race here. kaine's the top choice to run for jim webb's seat. the most watched campaign across the country next year. except for the presidency.
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we're back. tea party leader michelle bachmann was in new hampshire this past weekend speaking to supporters. it's not the crowds she drew or policy ideas she stirred that caused the attention. it's her complete lack of historic knowledge. listen to what she said. >> what i love about new hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. you're the state where the shot was heard from around the world at lexington and concord. >> well, of course, those battles were in massachusetts everybody knows that, and not new hampshire. it wasn't a slip of the tongue.
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the paper reported she said it not once but twice that week and shouldn't everyone running for president know basic american history. the themes of our history, like the mccarthy period, slavery, things like that. let's go to shoshana daily beast ander obviously lewis. people have this can't -- i don't want to get into that. this is a slip of the tongue, i make slips of the tongue, everybody broadcasting does it. it is a question of not nothing fundamental information. michele bachmann made it on "hardball" not knowing about the mccarthy period. she wanted to go back and investigate everybody. here it is. the bachmann back in 2008 talking about wanting us to investigate members of congress for anti-american activities. let's watch, as if it never happened once.
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>> so this is a character issue. you believe barack obama may, you're suspicious because of this relationship, may have anti-american views. otherwise, it is probably irrelevant to the discussion. >> absolutely. >> you think barack obama has anti-american views? >> absolutely, i am very concerned he may have anti-american views. what i would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose' and take a look. i wish they would. i wish the american media would take a great look at the views of people in congress and find out if they are proamerica or anti-america. i think people would love to see an expose' like that. >> somebody needs a different kind of expose'. no knowledge of mccarthy period. we went through the whole thing. she thought slavery was fought by the founding fathers. we had slaves with the presidents up until about lincoln. forget the details, the themes. >> i think it is very worry some.
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not only has she shown signs she wants to run for the presidency with new hampshire and iowa, but she also says over and over how committed she is to the constitution. but as you said and you point out, it doesn't seem to be a slip of the tongue. she said this twice, and coupled with all the other things you just mentioned, i do think it is worry some, incredibly worry some. >> let me go back to earl. the great thing about history, things get better. we learn when we fail, the horror of slavery, it was our original sin most would say. and to not know these things is to not know our country. >> well, that's certainly a valid argument. i think more troubling is that nobody around her caught any of the gaffes. there should have been someone saying let's rewrite this, you're getting some of this wrong.
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this is a deal with the devil that the republicans and conservative movement made 30 years ago, trying to unite country club republicans with sunday school republicans, using shorthand, and trying to dig into the long-standing democratic populous base, getting the working class on their side. there's a fair amount of anti-incident lek ulism here. >> this thing, why is it appealing? give us a primer, why is not knowing things somehow attractive to the grass roots of the tea party, which by the way is a phrase borrowed from the revolutionary period, the tea party. you would think there would be some honoring of the facts. >> that's an interesting point you bring out. but i think that supporters of somebody like michele bachmann will say that they like her because she's just like them, she's a mom.
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she went to congress to fight for them. those are things you hear over and over again. you even saw today she blamed the media reporting those remarks, not taking the blame herself. it was clearly a mistake. and so in her eyes and also in the eyes of her supporters, they see the media ganging up on her because she's a republican, not pointing out accurately serious mistakes about the founding of our country. >> you know, chris, there's always a lot of fuel for that sentiment because you and i know there are a lot of elitists. >> i think everyone in the country should get to know it. if you love our history, get to know it. she should get a history book and study it. just go do it, just learn it.
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it is not that hard. we don't have that long a history you can't master it. i will be back in a moment with closing thoughts. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. >> it brings your best minds and their brightest ideas together. it helps the largest of companies seize opportunity like the smallest of startups. it's the network-- the intelligent, secure cisco network that lets your employees, partners, suppliers and customers innovate and share so you can unleash the power of your most valuable asset: your people.
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let me finish tonight with a simple proposition, that we stop building this country, go into a fetal position because of what's going on in the world, or do we keep building the way it made the country great, the country everybody wants to get into.
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climb a fence, swim a river, sneak in. i say keep on building. in the middle of the civil war with half of us fighting the other half, we built the continental railroad. with world war looming, we built the pennsylvania turnpike and then built other highways across the country, instead of county roads and speed traps. we kept building. even spent space ships to the moon in the 1960s despite what else was happening in the world. today, some americans, some senators let by john kerry, head of the chamber of commerce, head of labor, they got together and said let's do it again. talked up a new infrastructure bank to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars of money to get the country moving against highway and railway, real american stuff. i know this cuts across the grain of the times. governor of new jersey says it is time to tighten our belts. he built a whistle on building a tunnel from new jersey to new york. history won't think a lot of


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